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TABLE TALK., Issue 7916, 25 May 1889, Supplement
|From Ode Own Cobbespondent.]
London, March 29.
The news of John Bright's death was, despite columns of obituary notices and yards of personal reminiscences, received by the people, for whose cause he worked so long and so successfully, with comparative unconcern. He had, in truth, outlived his great popularity, and was to the younger generation of working-men politicians Utile more than a name. To realise this, one has only to recall the Freetrade agitation of 1843, or the " Terrible Radicals'" anti-wai campaign of 1853. How England would have been convulsed with feeling had the " Tribune of the People," the impassioned orator whose wondrous words were still ringing in our ears and making our hearts beat, died then. Up to almost the laßt the old man showed rare vitality, never (curiously enough) looking the least bit ill. He always liked to have the papers read to him, if possible, and followed the progress of the Farnell Commission with the deepest interest. In November last, when supposed to be morxbund, Mr Bright bade farewell to each member of his family separately. Thiß melancholy function, instead of depressing the sick man's spirits, seemed to raise them, and when Dr Drysdale called, expecting to hear the worst, he found his patient much better. Mr Bright rallied till Friday last, when the east wind (deadliest of all breezss) began to blow and gave him a new cold. He died soon after daybreak on Wednesday morning. TIIE DONEGAL DIVORCE SUIT.
The most noble the Marquis of Donegal, who cut such a poor figure in the Divorce Court last week, is better known "about town" (i.e., at various billiard saloons and Bodegas) as the Earl of Belfast, which courtesy title he bore until his venerable father died about ten days ago. The new peer inherits nothing from his sire save sundry debts, which (as he has just gone bankrupt on his own account) he is scarcely likely to settle. The divorce suit was a " cross " business. Lady Belfast accused Lord Belfast of cruelty and infidelity; and Lord Belfast accused Lady Belfast of drunkenness, voluntary desertion, and miscellaneous other improprieties. The evidence showed the pair to have lived sordid, miserable, unhappy, intemperate lives, and to be almost equally in fault. Instances of Her Ladyship's drunken frolics abounded, but so did proofs of the little nobleman's misbehaviour. The match was, of course, a misalliance from the beginning, though the bridegroom was only Captain Chichester when he married Miss Mary Anne Williams in 1865. She is his second wife. Fortunately there are no children. Mr Justice Butt could not, unfortunately, see his way to dividing the unhappy pair. Lord Donegal's brothers are well off, and in good positions, but they long ago presented him with that delectable joint the "cold shoulder." He figures sometimes at fourth rate clubs and similar resorts, where a title (so long as it is a title) ensures a man liberal liquid refreshment. The ' Star' thus describes His Lordship's appearance:—" He is over sixty years of age, a little man, with white hair, white moustache, and Dundreary whiskers, through the opening of which a little round knob of a chin bulges out. He has a sensual-looking mouth, curving forehead, little shifty eyes, and a nose that has been a good one, but is showing traces of wear. During the early part of the case he sat in the body of the Court behind his counsel. When it came to his turn to go into the box he could be better observed. He gathered the folds of a rustyflblack frock coat round him, pushed the frayed edges of his shirt cuffs up his sleeves, polished up a pair of pince-nez eye-glasses with a dirty-looking silk handkerchief, and settled himself in a lounging attitude against the rail of the box, looking the most perfect specimen of the aristocrat run to seed that it is possible to imagine."
Mr Benzon has certainly great luck, Having dissipated one fortune, he now—through wholly unexpected circumstances—comes into another, and will (so the man at the corner says) at once recommence his gambling operations. The Ring, needless to say, rejoice to recover their “ Jubilee,” Young Lord Dudley bets a bit, and so does Mr Hugh M'Calmont, but neither are plungers, and, so far, they have won more than they’ve lost. Lord Dudley pulled off two races on the opening day at Lincoln, and on each occasion won a good stake. A FRESH SEASON. The saddling bell at Lincoln, which has inaugurated so many flat-racing seasons, rang out right merrily on Monday afternoon last. The muster was unusually large for this meeting, many of the older ‘ ‘ sports,” who do not as a rule turn out before Newmarket Craven, having been attracted to the Carholme by rumors of the exceptionally smart fields likely to contest the Brocklesby and the big handicap. I confess I don't like Lincoln. The Carholme is, if anything, colder, bleaker, and windier even than Aintree. From a punter’s point of view, too, the meeting seldom proves satisfactory, If one can spot the winner of the Lincolnshire it certainly means beginning the season in clover ; and I recall with beatitude the victories of such well-backed fa verities as Bendigo, Tonans, Knight of Burghley, Buchanan, and Touchet. On the other hand, there were the terrible anniversaries when Rosy Cross (20 to 1), Poulet (40 to 1), Pulmen (100 to 6), Oberon (60 to 1), and Veracity (50 to 1) romped home. This time the pea seemed harder than usual to find. Upwards of thirty stables were represented, and quite half of them appeared confident of their champion running well. The three horses most generally fancied, perhaps, were Mr Jardine’s Wise Man (4 yrs, 7st 81b), Mr Abington’s Gallinule (5 yrs, 7st 91b), and Lord Lurgan’sAcme (4 yrs, Bst 71b); but even against them 10 to 1 could be had up to Monday night. The sport on Monday afternoon need not be referred to, if I except a few lines about the principal event. This was the Batthyany Stakes, a five furlong spnrt worth 600 sovs. A dozen runners came to the post, the favorites being General Owen Williams’s Harpagon (4 yrs, 7.11) and Mr Benholm’s Bartizan (4 yrs, 8.9), who were backed at 5 and 6 to 1 respectively. The latter ran well, and would probably have won had T. Loates come a little earlier. As it was, the old horse just failed to get up to Lord Dudley’s lightlyweighted Poem (3 yrs, 6.9), who won by a short head, Mr Whipps’s Lyddington, two lengths off, third. TUB BROCKLESBY STAKES. For this popular two-year-old event there were fourteen runners, the Duke of Portland’s half-sister to Donovan, by St. Simon (Semolina), of whom we had heard great reports, opening a strong favorite at 2 to 1. Such heavy support was, however, awarded to Lactantius, a fine-looking colt belonging to Mr L. De Rothschild, that the Duke’s filly receded somewhat in the betting, and eventually both started at about the same price—3 to 1. In the result the finish was left to the pair, Semolina winning cleverly by a length from Mr Rothschild’s colt, with Sir R. Jardine’s Salutation third. THE LINCOLN HANDICAP. The final features of the wagering on this event, which was heavy towards the close, were the continued support awarded to Wise Man, Gallinule, and Acme, and the advance of True Blue 11. (Tom Cannon s horse), which, according to report, had been very highly tried with Tib and others. The twenty-six runners got off fairly well to time, Gallinule, Wise Man, Acme, and True Blue 11. all showing well in front as the gay cavalcade swept across the flat. The first to disappear from the leaders’ rank was, curiously enough, the absolute favorite —the ill-fated Gallinule—who broke a blood vessel, and stopped short when going great guns. This left Wise Man, closely pursued by Acme and True Blue 11., at the head of affairs. A quarter of a mile from home Tom Cannon's old horse was beaten, and the race became a match between Wise Man and Acme, Opposite the stand Sherrard’s second string managed to reach Wise Man’s head, but the effort was not sustained, and Sir R. colt won a magnificent race amidst enthusiastic cheering by half a length. The Baron was placed third, a length off, and then came Arundel and True Blue 11. at the head of a long tail. But for the accident, there can be but little doubt Gallinule would have won, as
he beat Acme in their trial far easier than Wise Man did. _ . The latter’s victory was highly popiuar, as the colt was well backed from the first by the general public, who take a biggish stake ont of the Bing. True Blue 11. ran well for three-quarters of a mile, but failed to stay. The Baron should do better in the City and Suburban, for which he is already fancied. The betting was 8 to 1 Wise Man, 10 to 1 Acme, and 15 to 1 Baron. THE GRAND NATIONAL will be run at Aintree this afternoon, when there should be twenty runners. At the time of writing old Boquefort is first favorite, his 12at notwithstanding. THE BOAT BACE. When one remembers that a few years ago people (young people, especially) talked of iterally nothing but the ’Varsity boat race for the week preceding its decision, there certainly does seem something strange in no one caring a “dump” about to-morrow’s stiuggle. Experts explain the public’s apathy on the ground that these contests are now foregone conclusions. Last year and the year before, for example, the waterside authorities found the winner directly the rival crews appeared on the Thames for practice; and this year the same parties have from the first declared Cambridge cannot possibly lose. At Hammersmith Bridge, I am assured, the light blues will have the race in hand, and from that point the Oxonians will be nnable to make up any way. Well, we shall see. Whatever happens, the crowd should be a phenomenal one, as everyone, from my Lord Duke to a coster, can get down to the riverside at three o’clock on the Saturday half-holiday if he chooses. THEATRICAL NOTES. The most important theatrical premiere of the season will be the opening next week of the magnificent new house the Garrick, which Mr Gilbert has built for Mr Bare, with Pinero’s drama ‘ The Profligate.’ Unless rumor lies a good deal more than usual, the arrangements at the Garrick, both before and behind the curtain, will make the great B.P. open its eyes. Where his little fads are concerned Mr Gilbert lavishes money recklessly, and a reasonable fortune has been expended in perfecting the comfort of all classes of Mr Hare’s probable patrons. The pit-stalls are, lam told, models of ingenuity, fitted with umbrella and hat racks, and a place for coffee or ioeplate. Anent the opening programme gossips vary. Miss Kate Borke thinks the play “ quite lovely,” whereas Mr Willard, who was specially engaged for the title rfile (the Profligate), has thrown it np in disgust. Despite the excellence of the placing and the tout ensemble of the ‘Merry Wives’ at the Haymarket, it is not drawing very large audiences, and Mr Henry Arthur Jones’s ‘ Wealth’ has consequently been put in rehearsal. Last night a new play by \V. Outram Tristram (author of the‘Bed Lamp’), and called * The Panel Picture,’ was pro, duced at the Opera Comiquo with fair success ; and on Wednesday a somewhat silly piece, entitled * Merry Margate,’ just passed muster at the Comedy Theatre. Whether this latter will ultimately succeed or not depends entirely on Mr W. S. Penley, whose eccentric performance of * Uncle Kiah ’ alone rendered ‘ Uncles and Aunts ’ worth going to see, ‘ DORIS.’ ‘Doris’ is the title finally fixed on by Cellier and Stephenson for their new opera at the Lyric, to be produced on the 20th prox. The change of venue from the Prince of Wales’s to Mr Edwardes’s house in Shaftesbury avenue has (as I told you might be the case) proved fatal to the run of ‘Dorothy.’ Without rhyme or reason the business at once fell off, and not even the Marie Temple eaclandre helped it on again. The piece will be withdrawn next Saturday, after the 930 th performance. ‘Our Boys,’ with its 1,150 consecutive repetitions, therefore still remains the longest run on record. At Christmas Mr Edwardes backed ‘ Dorothy ’ to run at least 1,200 nights, and no doubt be would have won but for the move. Mr D. H. Harkins, Who plays one of the parts in Mr Mansfield’s revival of ‘ Bichard lII.’ at the Globe Theatre, is, I am told, the “distinguished tragedian” who starred through the Australias in ‘Othello,’ * Hamlet,’ etc., not long ago. Several correspondents have mixed up Mr Malcolm Watson, whose play ‘Calumny ’ is to be produced at the Shaftesbury Theatre next week, with Mr Marriott Watson, the author of ‘ Marahuna.’ Both gentlemen have written plays and aspire to become successful dramatists, otherwise there is no relationship or connection between them. ‘Sweet Lavender,’ though closely approaching its 400 th night at Terry’s Theatre, still draws good houses, Mr Pigott’s ' The Bookmaker ’ basin consequence been shelved a little longer. LITERARY NOTES. The late Samuel Carter Hall and hk wife wrote, I see it stated, between them some 600 books of various sorts, yet at the present moment there are barely half a dozen of their works in circulation. The most interesting effort of Mr S. C. Hall’s I ever read was ‘My Memories,’ During his long life he met most authors, poets, actors, and artists of repute, and his recollections of them, if occasionally trivial, were always endurable, and sometimes thoroughly well worth chronicling. Dickens took a great dislike to Mr Hall, and drew from his per* sonal peculiarities (it was alleged) the original Pecksniff. No doubt his manner did strike one as oleaginous, and so did Mrs Hall’s, and they used language which frequently laid them open to the charge of being hypocrites. Nevertheless, at the bottom they were, I believe, thoroughly well meaning, kindly people. After Mrs S. C. Hall’s death, in 1882,_ her _husband became an enthusiastic Spiritualist, and held frequent inter-communion with her. He learnt from her spirit a number of novel and interesting facts about the great hereafter, which he used from time to time to lay before parties of lay and clerical friends with intense conviction.
Part I. of Blackwood's new serial, «Travel, Adventure, and Sport,' collected from the pages of 'Maga,' will contain 'The Discovery of Victoria Nyanza,' by Captain Speke; 'My Home in Palestine,' by Laurence Oliphant; ' A Sketch in the Tropics,' and * How I Caught my First Salmon '—an attractive and miscellaneous selection, surely well worth a shilling. On the last day of the Mackenzie sale at Sotheby's a set of first editions of Lever's works, which it had taken nine years to collect, and which were embellished with some of the original designs " Phiz " made for the illustrations, realised L 275. Murray's oheap edition of Darwin's ' Voyage of the Beagle,' at 3s 6d, places this till now expensive work within everyone's reach, 'lis a capital present for any lad with a taste for natural history. The death of Percy B. St. John will recall many pleasant youthful memories to men now in the prime of manhood. Twenty years ego Percy B. St. John, Amelia Bowman, and Captain Mayne Beid held much the same positition towards the rising generation as R. L. Ballantyno, George R. Henty, and George Manville Fean do now. Not that their boys' books were as high-class as are the majority nowadays. 'The Arctic Crusoe' of Mr St. John, which was an extraordinarily popular story in its time, will not stand the test of comparison with Ballantyne's • Fighting the Flames,' Henty's ' Final Reckoning,' or half a dozen books one could mention. The other day, alas! I picked up by chance a tale which, as a young boy, I gloated over, Miss Bowman's ' Bear Hunters of the Rocky Mountains.' My notion was to give it to a youngster friend, but after perusing a few chapters I concluded it wouldn't do. The present generation of boys (lucky dogs) will never be under the painful necessity of "going back upon'" its youthful favorites. Twenty years hence,for example,' Treasure Island' should be M popular as now.
TABLE TALK., Issue 7916, 25 May 1889, Supplement
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